Originally Posted by Kurt Caselli
Itís not just the navigation that is new for me at the Dakar. At this race you are on the bike so much because of the long liaison sections before and after each stage. At the Dakar youíre on the bike all day and your butt gets very sore. Thereís nothing easy about the Dakar, in terms of mental fatigue I have done anything like this before.
And there it is. My feeling is that the true challenge of Dakar is not any single part, it is the totality of it. It is needing to focus for hours and hours each day, not only on the hard parts (which is easy) but also on the easy parts (which is hard).
At this point in the race, minor repetitive stress injuries are stacking up. Fingers refuse to function, wrists feels like hell, butts hurt for the unlucky who don't know James Renazco. If you allow your mind to wander to these issues, whether they are minor or major, you are at risk every foot you cover.
The advantage is that by this point, you are used to the schedule and the functions of the race. You know where you need to be and when you need to be there. You know people to smile and say hello to and wish good luck everywhere you go. A lot of mental energy that was absorbed in the early days figuring this stuff out, is no longer needed.
The last few days are not a gimme. As Sandi said, it ain't over till it's over. No one would call the Baja 500 a short race, at this point, there is still most of the distance of that race left to run in special. A lot can and will happen.
One last major point: GO PYNDON!